PA Signing Trust Inventory | Dawood Engineering Inc.

PA Signing Trust Inventory

Dawood was tasked with the inventory and inspection of tourism signs along Pennsylvania highways for the PA Signing Trust. This project runs statewide, from corner to corner, including the Lake Erie area down through Pittsburgh, across to Philadelphia, and up through Scranton. GIS is being used in all facets of the project: planning, inventory, and project management. Using crews from 3 offices across the state, teams travel to the 418 exits given by the PA Signing Trust. Each exit includes multiple mainline signs that are on the highway, ramp signs on the exit ramp, and trailblazers for specific turn directions for destinations. Starting from the beginning of July, almost 600 mainline signs, 600 ramp signs, and 300 trailblazers have been inspected in only a month and a half. Ease and efficiency have been added by using available GIS tools and resources. 

The tools and devices offered by Esri and other major companies allow Dawood’s departments to work together seamlessly and collect data accurately and timely. Field crews download and use a Survey123 app in the field to enter information and log coordinates from their smartphone or tablet. Questions included in the survey ask about the condition of the components of the sign, route number, exit number/name, and reviewer. Multiple photos are also captured and stored with the inventory point.

To improve the accuracy to meet required standards, Dawood uses an EOS Arrow 100 GPS booster. These devices connect to the phone or tablet via Bluetooth and override the onboard GPS and allow Esri Apps to access multi-constellation, GNSS satellites to receive 60 cm real-time accuracy. These devices use real-time corrections, which limit the amount of post-processing that needs to be done, further improving efficiency. The devices run in the background and work seamlessly with deployed Esri apps. 

Back in the office, ArcGIS Online is our command hub for all the project information. The survey data is stored in feature services for mainlines and ramps/trailblazers. Keeping them separate allows for specific WebMaps and Operations Dashboards to be created that can be utilized by the entire team. A quick completion dashboard allows us to track progress across the state. Field crews can navigate to a WebMap and update inventory points to show what is not started, what is up next, and what has been completed. This is also used for planning inspections by assigning offices to exits. 

The inspection data is also displayed in dashboards to easily get important information. Widgets in the dashboards display the vital replacement questions to easily get the numbers. These update to show inspections as they come in from the field. A dashboard for mainlines and ramps/trailblazers allow for a more focused view into the data. Filtering within the dashboards enables project members to look at specific routes, sign types, conditions, dates, reviewer or any combination of this data.

 Questions can quickly be answered by looking at the dashboards. The widgets calculate totals and percentages, so anyone can analyze the data without having to know GIS software. The dashboards are a much more efficient way to present data compared to excel spreadsheets and hard copy maps. Along with the Survey123 website to export excel spreadsheets, reports can be turned out in a fraction of the time.